Richard Thomas
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::: CUT ::: Flaxart Studio Residency ::: Belfast, Northern Ireland 2000 :::

From a series of works in a variety of media including photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture undertaken during a one month residency at Flaxart Studios in Belfast. All works made drew parallels between the natural and social history of Ireland, with particular reference to the deforestation and partition of the landscape.

On my last day in Belfast, an enlarged oak leaf cut from steel plate in components was carried by hand to the top of ‘Cavehill’ and reassembled. It was placed along an imagined axis which ran from the cave above, in which the first anti-colonial Republicans met in secret, to the shipyards far below. In between were the elms planted by the local planter-aristocrat in the 19th C, now dying from Dutch Elm disease, and further, between blighted leaves and blighted industry, and overlooked by the treeless empty moors, the streets of Belfast.

Paintings and drawings from this series were exhibited the following year at Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne in the exhibition "Works from Belfast"


LEFT: Installation view on Cavehill overlooking Belfast; Acrylic on laser cut steel; 180 x 120 cm
CENTRE: Workshop view of steel components prior to painting. RIGHT: Charcoal drawing on paper, 150 x 100 cm


© Richard Thomas 2008